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Confession 24.1 Marriage is to be between one man and
one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor
for any woman to have more than one husband; at the same time.(a)
(a) Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5, 6; Prov. 2:17.
Confession 24.2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual
help of husband and wife,(b) for the increase of mankind with a legitimate
issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;(c) and for preventing of
(b) Gen. 2:18.
(c) Mal. 2:15.
(d) I Cor. 7:2, 9.
Confession 24.3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to
marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.(e) Yet is it the duty
of Christians to marry only in the Lord:(f) and therefore such as profess the
true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other
idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying
with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable
(e) Heb. 13:4; I Tim. 4:3; I Cor. 7:36, 37, 38; Gen. 24:57, 58.
(f) I Cor. 7:39.
(g) Gen. 34:14; Exod. 34:16; Deut. 7:3, 4; I Kings 11:4; Neh. 13:25, 26, 27;
Mal. 2:11, 12; II Cor. 6:14.
Confession 24.4. Marriage ought not to be within the
degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word;(h) nor can such
incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of
parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.(i) The man may
not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own;
nor the woman of her husband's kindred nearer in blood than of her own.(k)
(h) Lev. 18 ch.; I Cor. 5:1; Amos 2:7.
(i) Mark 6:18; Lev. 18:24, 25, 26, 27, 28.
(k) Lev. 20:19, 20, 21.
Confession 24.5. Adultery or fornication committed after
a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the
innocent party to dissolve that contract.(l) In the case of adultery after
marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce:(m) and,
after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.(n)
(l) Matt. 1:18, 19, 20.
(m) Matt. 5:31, 32.
(n) Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2, 3.
Confession 24.6. Although the corruption of man be such
as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined
together in marriage: yet nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as
can no way be remedied by the Church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient
of dissolving the bond of marriage:(o) wherein, a public and orderly course of
proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to
their own wills and discretion, in their own case.(p)
(o) Matt. 19:8, 9; I Cor. 7:15; Matt. 19:6.
(p) Deut. 24:1, 2, 3, 4.